Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Tauranga march against EFA an outstanding success

PRESS RELEASE

By John Boscawen

Trustee, Freedom of Speech Trust

4 May 2008

Tauranga march against the Electoral Finance Act hailed as an outstanding success

The march against the Electoral Finance Act in Tauranga yesterday (Saturday 3 May) has been hailed an 'outstanding success' by John Boscawen, trustee of the Freedom of Speech Trust.

'I am absolutely delighted with the turnout of between 600-800 people. This has been by far the largest protest march and rally in the Bay of Plenty for some years, possibly even since the Springbok tour protest over 20 years ago' he said.

'The weather was fine and the protesters marched slowly and peacefully down Devonport Road through central Tauranga to the rally at Baycourt.' The speakers at the rally included John Boscawen, Ralph Maxwell and Ken Evans. Ralph Maxwell was a former Labour Cabinet Minister in the Lange Government and served on the Electoral Select Committee for three years during his time in Parliament. Mr Ken Evans is the local representative of the Sensible Sentencing Trust.

Mr Boscawen said 'in a democracy it is the right of the people to challenge their elected representatives and to hold them to account. The Electoral Finance Act imposes unreasonable restrictions on the rights of individuals and groups such as the Sensible Sentencing Trust to be involved in the electoral process throughout the full election year. These restrictions go far beyond what the Human Rights Commission and the Electoral Commission consider reasonable.'

'The Electoral Commission said that the Labour and National parties and their candidates would each be allowed to spend up to $4.8 million in their election campaigns ($9.6 million in total). The Electoral Commission recommended to Parliament that if there were to be restrictions on 'third parties' they should be able to spend up to $300,000. Parliament ignored both the Electoral Commission and the Human Rights Commission on this issue and imposed a maximum spending limit of $120,000, or just 2.5% of what each of the major political parties are able to spend.'

Mr Boscawen said 'The Human Rights Commission called the original Bill 'inherently flawed' and called on the government to withdraw it. Failing this, the Human Rights Commission recommended as a minimum four major changes to the legislation. While Parliament moved on three of these, they failed to reduce the regulatory period from the full election year to the three month period immediately prior to the election as recommended by the Human Rights Commission. New Zealanders are subject to these restrictions for more than three times longer than the Human Rights Commission said they should be.'

In his address to the rally Mr Maxwell referred to the importance of all changes to the electoral law being subject to bi-partisan support. He said this had not happened on this occasion and the Act was passed by a simple majority of 63 to 57. At the end of the meeting, Mr Maxwell moved the following motion that was passed unanimously by the more than 600 people present.

The resolution was:

'That this meeting respectfully and sincerely, calls upon the Prime Minister to repeal the Electoral Finance Act in this session of Parliament, on the following grounds:

1. It offends the fundamental principles of electoral law in that it does not enjoy bi-partisan support within Parliament but exists purely on account of six compromised list member votes.

2. This complex, confused, piece of legislation is not even understood by our Minister of Justice or the law fraternity, let alone the voting public.

3. An election later this year under this Act is more likely to be decided in the courts rather than by the votes of the people, with the High Court already involved; and

4. Constant confusion and squabbling over the Electoral Finance Act seriously detracts from other serious issues being debated.'

Mr Evans, a local representative of the Sensible Sentencing Trust, an organisation affected by the restrictions in Act, referred to the sacrifice of the ANZACs and those who had gone after them to fight for the freedoms that we now take for granted, and particular the freedom of speech.

Mr Boscawen concluded the meeting by reminding attendees that this was only the first of a series of provincial protests planned throughout New Zealand this election year.


ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Fate Of Julian Assange


Has swapping Scott Morrison for Anthony Albanese made any discernible difference to Australia’s relations with the US, China, the Pacific and New Zealand? Not so far. For example: Albanese has asked for more time to “consider” his response to New Zealand’s long running complaints about the so called “501” deportations back to this country. Really? He needs more time to figure out a response? OK, but the clock is ticking.
The Julian Assange situation is a lot more urgent. Assange’s deportation to the United States has now been okayed by the British courts and also - crucially – by its government. At any moment, Assange could be on a plane and headed for a US prison. He is facing the prospect of 175 years in jail...
More>>



 
 


Parliament: Grounds Fully Reopened

Parliament’s grounds have been fully reopened today at a ceremony and community event with mana whenua, members of the public, and representatives of Parliament... More>>


Chris Hipkins: Statement On Charlotte Bellis

On 31 January I released a statement regarding Charlotte Bellis and her MIQ application. I stated that emergency allocation criteria includes a requirement to travel to New Zealand within the next 14 days... More>>



Government: Prime Minister To Travel To Europe And Australia

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will leave this weekend to travel to Europe and Australia for a range of trade, tourism and foreign policy events... More>>

ALSO:



National: Goodfellow To Retire As Party President
Peter Goodfellow today announced he will not seek re-election as President of the National Party at its Annual Conference. Mr Goodfellow will remain as a director on the board for one final term to assist in the transition... More>>

Police: Parliament Occupation Investigators Seek Public Assistance
Police investigating criminal activity on the final day of the occupation at Parliament grounds earlier this year are appealing for the public’s help to identify 15 people... More>>

World Vision: New Zealand Urged To Meet Quota As New Report Finds Hunger, Violence, And Death Rates Increase For Refugees
World Vision is calling for New Zealand to work harder to meet its refugee quota in the wake of a new report which shows that life has deteriorated significantly in the past two years for refugees in 11 hard-hit countries... More>>


 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels